The death of the Netscape browser could be linked to two factors: the integration of Internet Explorer into Windows 95, and its eventual acquisition by the then-thriving America Online. However, in its day, Netscape was the doorway to the World Wide Web, offered to new Internet subscribers by many ISPs eager to get curious customers on the Internet. Originally developed in 1993 by Mosaic Communications Corporation, the browser was renamed a year later as Netscape Navigator. The company changed its name to Netscape Communications, too.
Sometime after 1995, it's rumored that Microsoft visited Netscape headquarters and requested the company to develop a browser for Windows-only. Netscape refused. Shortly thereafter, Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer based on a version of Mosaic created by Spyglass. From then on, Microsoft and Netscape would go head-to-head, each one trying to outdo the other with new features. Eventually, Netscape lost the browser war, unable to compete with Microsoft's bulging resources. What made matters worse was that Internet Explorer was always free to Windows-based customers, while Netscape didn't become free until 1998.
As time progressed, consumers began to flock to the Windows native Web browser. America Online swooped in and acquired Netscape Communications in 1998, but made the mistake of developing Netscape 6 using a very unstable Mozilla 0.6 engine, driving consumers even further away from the Netscape brand. Although later revisions brought Netscape back into the limelight, other browsers like Opera, Safari, and Mozilla's own Firefox began to steal some of the attention. The final version of Netscape Navigator was released on February 20, 2008.